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Weaving Storylines: A/B/C Stories (PT53)

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Update: PT53 transcript now available

Alex and Nick discuss the importance of weaving A, B and C stories in TV writing, and interesting ways of doing it in TV scripts.

Why is it important to cut between storylines in TV? When should you start and end each storyline? Which storylines should you spend more time on in your TV script? When should you only do a single A story? What are some noteworthy and unique formats for A/B/C plotlines?

Plus, we talk about where to read TV scripts.

The Paper Team become master-weavers…



Paper Scraps (FKA Odds-and-ends): Finding TV scripts (00:55)
1 – Why does TV have A/B/C stories? (03:51)
2 – Nuts and bolts of using A/B/C stories (10:27)
3 – Interesting and non-traditional uses of weaving A/B/C stories in TV (18:22)
Takeaways and Resources (32:22)


Writers Guild Foundation Library
TV Calling Script Library
Lee Thomson Script Library
Simply Scripts
Daily Script
“What are A, B, and C stories in screenwriting?” – TV Calling
Team America Montage (Video)
“Marge vs. the Monorail” (4×12 – The Simpsons)
“Ozymandias” (5×14 – Breaking Bad)
“That’s My Dog” (4×05 – Six Feet Under)
“Eleven Angry Men and One Dick” (3×07 – 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Graham Yost
24 (TV Series)
“Kim vs. the Cougar: The Oral History of 24’s Most Infamous Scene” – Vulture
“My Bad” (1×06 – Scrubs)
Awake (TV Series)
Kyle Killen
“How Lost revolutionized storytelling” – TV Calling
“Walkabout” (1×04 – Lost)
“The Constant” (4×05 – Lost)
This Is Us
Oz (TV Series)
“Bowling” (2×20 – Malcom in the Middle)
Sliding Doors
“Remedial Chaos Theory” (3×04 – Community)
“Split” (3×01 – Coupling)
“A Rickle in Time” (2×01 – Rick & Morty)


“Elephant Bucks” – Sheldon Bull
“Cracking the Sitcom Code” – The Atlantic
“Television Writing from the Inside Out” – Larry Brody
Plot Threads (TV Tropes)
Plot Parallel (TV Tropes)
Two Lines, No Waiting (TV Tropes)
Four Lines, All Waiting (TV Tropes)

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Special thanks to Alex Switzky for helping us edit this episode.

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Paper Team
Paper Team
Alex Freedman & Nick Watson

Paper Team is a podcast about television writing and becoming a TV writer.

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